Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: ARC through I Read Banned Books book tours
About the Book: Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?
My Thoughts: I was really excited for this book! I've enjoyed Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles and the setting in Victorian England was a huge draw. I also loved that there was a house party! It's almost as good as a boarding school :) Haunting Violet hooked me from the start. The writing and the details flowed nicely. I was particularly impressed with the prologue. It's told from the perspective of a nine year old girl and the details are things that a child of that age would notice. It was very believable.
Violet has grown up watching her mother fake supernatural talents. She has never believed. Imagine her surprise when she develops abilities of her own. I was interested in watching her come to terms with her new "talents." The mystery involved was a bit predictable but still enjoyable. I liked the characters and the banter between them. I really loved the historical details. The clothes, customs, and social interactions were interesting to learn about and added to the story. If you like historical fiction with a bit of mystery and paranormal elements this book is for you.